In More About Sea Turtles

How to tell the difference between a Green and Hawksbill sea turtle

Common name:  Green Sea Turtle
Hawaiian name:  Honu
Latin name:  Chelonia mydas
Status:  Protected & Threatened
Common name:  Hawksbill Turtle
Hawaiian name:  ‘Ea / Honu‘ea
Latin name:  Eretmochelys imbricata
Status:  Protected & Endangered

Comparison of the Green turtle and the Hawksbill turtle:

Green Turtle
Hawksbill Turtle
Hawaiian Name
Honu
‘Ea / Honu’ea
Status
Threatened
Endangered
Distribution
Common
Not common, mostly Maui and Big Island
Adult Weight
Up to 500 lbs.
Up to 200 lbs.
Adult Shell Length
3-4 ft.
2-3 ft.
Diving Depth
Up to 1500 ft.
Up to 1500 ft.
Breathing Cycle
Resting up to 3 hours
Normal – every 15 to 30 mins.
Up to 3 hours
Normal – every 15 to 30 mins.
Diet
Limu, seagrass and invertebrates
Sponges, algae & invertebrates
Sexual Maturity
25-35 years
20-29 years
Lifespan
80-100 years
30-50 years
Hawaii  Nesting Activity
500-800 per year
20-25 per year
Basking
Yes
No
Carapace (Shell)
High domed
Non-overlapping scutes
Smooth edge
Olive to black color
Flatter, more colorful
Overlapping scutes
Jagged edge
More colorful
Claws
1 per flipper
2 per flipper
Nesting Frequency
2 to 8 years
4 years
Intervals of Nesting
4 nests / 14 days apart
1 to 6 nests / 20 days apart
Eggs/Clutch & Incubation
~100 eggs / ~2 months
~180 eggs / ~2 months

Leave a Reply